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Financials

Generali close to exclusive talks for Credit Agricole's La Medicale - source

MILAN, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s top insurer Generali is set to enter exclusive talks with Credit Agricole before the end of the year to buy the French bank’s health insurance unit La Medicale, a source close to the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.

Created in 1948, La Medicale specialises in insuring health professionals and could be valued around 400 million euros ($450.04 million), the source added.

Generali has about 1 billion euros left for acquisitions after allocating 4 billion euro to M&A under a three-year strategic plan ending this year. It has said it looks at Europe and Asia for opportunities.

Chief Executive Philippe Donnet, whose term expires in April, has come under fire from two leading investors - Italian businessmen Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone and Leonardo Del Vecchio - who have criticised his M&A strategy as too timid and want Generali to grow further.

Bloomberg first reported news of the Credit Agricole talks. (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; editing by Valentina Za)

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